North Alabama facing serious blood shortage

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – As the nation continues to turn the corner in the COVID-19 pandemic, medical experts are warning about a new potential challenge facing the healthcare industry, a growing blood shortage.

“We have been placed under an emergency appeal,” said Kami May of LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.

The appeal is coming from the FDA as the nation faces a potentially severe blood shortage.

“They say that we have less than a two-day supply on our shelves. Our hospitals, our local hospitals like to keep a three to five-day supply on their shelves,” said May.

May says this year’s blood shortage is different from years past because the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire country’s supply.

“We usually can get some from other areas of the nation, but there’s no sharing going on right now, because it’s literally that tight,” said May.

The shortage comes as hospitals face increased demand for elective procedures, which require more blood donations. LifeSouth says donations traditionally trend down during the summer months when schools and businesses are less able to host blood drives, but COVID-19 and a number of other natural events this year, have made their jobs even more challenging.=

“On top of COVID we’ve also had winter storms come through and tornadic weather that has also put a damper on donations, and so with all of that, it’s going to be a really tough summer,” said May.

If you would like to give blood, LifeSouth is taking donations at the Walmart in Winchester on Monday, June 6th from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. You can find information about other donation days by going to LifeSouth.org and putting in your zip code.

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